Ignitis Group's first innovation fund returns exceeded investments - funds will be allocated to a second fund 

Posted by Robertas Tumilo

„Smart Energy Fund powered by Ignitis group“, established in 2017, is delivering financial returns for Ignitis Group this year. This year, the fund has already generated a return of €15.6 million, which will be used to invest in innovative start-ups offering solutions to tackle climate change. 

To date, Ignitis Group has invested around €11 million in „Smart Energy Fund powered by Ignitis group“, managed by Contrarian Ventures. The Fund has invested in 21 companies in eight countries around the world - almost a third of the companies and the capital allocated by the Fund come from Lithuania. The latter are developing new technologies in energy and electrified mobility that could be applied in Ignitis Group's operations. The fund manager has invested in these start-ups together with more than 100 other co-investment partners, including carmaker Hyundai, energy giant Shell, the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund and steel producer ArcelorMittal. The number of green jobs created by the fund's companies has surpassed 1,000, and the companies have raised more than €400 million from other investors since Contrarian Ventures' investment. 

"The main goal of our first fund was not only to generate a financial return, but also to give us access to cutting-edge energy innovations that we could deploy in our Group's operations, together with the start-ups developing them. The fact that this venture capital fund has already made a profit proves that the chosen strategy has been successful, and the returns will allow us to further develop our investments in start-ups in the second fund," says Paulius Kozlovas, Head of Technology Development at Ignitis Group. 

"Today we celebrate the sixth year of Contrarian Ventures and the first fund. In the context of the venture capital market, this is a relatively short period of time, but we are pleased that in such a short time we have managed to establish ourselves as one of the strongest venture capital funds in the field of climate technology. We are delighted with the result and with the long-term trust and cooperation of Ignitis Group as an investor," says Rokas Pečiulaitis, Founder and Managing Partner of Contrarian Ventures. 

Since 2017, more than 1,500 innovative start-ups with novel ideas have been reviewed and evaluated, and seven portfolio companies have launched pilot or commercial projects with Ignitis Group, along with new services launched by Ignitis Group. 

As the fund is fully invested and no further new investments are planned by the first fund, the returns from the first fund will be used to further invest in innovative start-ups through a second fund - World Fund, which Ignitis Group joined on 13 July following an international public tender. 

"World Fund“ is Europe's leading climate venture capital fund investing in climate technologies with high climate performance potential (CPP). World Fund invests in European technologies with high climate efficiency potential, from energy and transport, to agriculture, land use building materials and manufacturing. The investment team includes engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, early and growth stage investors. "World Fund“ supports entrepreneurs who are developing next generation technologies to tackle climate change. 

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